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The Weekly Leaf - February 10

The Weekly Leaf

This week, two 7.5+ magnitude earthquakes hit southern Turkey and northern Syria, President Biden gave his State of the Union address, and the U.S. shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina.

Read more below.


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Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow

The Aspen Strategy Group is seeking the next Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow. Named in honor of ASG Chair Emeritus Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, the fellowship program provides the first stepping-stone for young professionals with an interest in U.S. foreign policy and national security to forge careers inspired by General Scowcroft’s expertise and ethos of service. Scowcroft Fellows typically join the ASG team for a period of 6 months, during which time they are encouraged to develop practical skills and build knowledge in the field of foreign policy and national security. Applications are now open for this temporary, full-time, paid position


This Week's Content Highlights

Features from the Aspen Strategy Group Members

Sylvia Burwell, Taffye Benson Clayton, Ronald Daniels, and Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill for the Bipartisan Policy Center: "More Than Words: Free Expression, Responsibility, and Inclusion in Higher Education"

Chris Coons led the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) Mid-Atlantic Summit

Mark T. Esper interviewed by Bill Hemmer for Fox News: "China Possibly Surveilling 40 Countries With Spy Flights Is ‘Disturbing’"

Jendayi Frazer approved as Secretary of the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy

Robert Gates interviewed by David Ignatius for The Washington Post: "The Road Ahead for Ukraine"

Nicholas Kristof for The New York Times: "Biden's Vision About How to Heal America"

David Petraeus interviewed by John Catsimatidis for WABC Radio: "What Was China Thinking With This Balloon?"

David Rubenstein interviewed Jerome Powell for Bloomberg TV: "Fed Chair Powell Speaks to David Rubenstein"

David Sanger for The New York Times: "For a President Who Spends His Days Confronting Russia and China, a Domestic Focus"

Lawrence H. Summers interviewed by Scott Tong for the Here & Now podcast: "Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers on the Economic Outlook—and Why It's So Hard to Read Right Now"

Frances F. Townsend, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., and Michael J. Morell for The Washington Times: "Ensuring America Wins Tech Innovation Race Against China"


Rising Leaders in the News

"Countries seem much more willing to tolerate espionage when adversaries offer the professional courtesy of making it hard for citizens to see."

— ASG Rising Leader Mary Brooks ('22) for The Wilson Center: "Chinese Spy Balloons vs Spyware: An Intelligence Matchup?"


Tweet of the Week


Things to Know

Content Relevant to Aspen Security Forum Discussions

Jason Bordoff and Rahul Tongia for The Wall Street Journal: "Can Developing Economies Have High Growth Without Using Coal? A Debate."

Agathe Demarais interviewed by Mark Leonard for ECFR: "Agathe Demarais on Sanctions as a Foreign Policy Tool"

Jane Harman for The Hill: "It's Past Time to Reduce Over-Classification"

Alex Holmes, Ziad Jaber, and Aina J. Khan for NBC News: "Anger Grows in Turkey as Earthquake Death Toll Passes 20,000 and Rescue Hopes Dwindle"

Martin Kimani addressed the 23rd Foreign Policy Conference of the Heinrich Böll Foundation

Gina Raimondo interviewed by Jim Cramer for CNBC

Sahil Shah for Foreign Policy: "The United States and China Still Need to Talk About Nuclear Weapons"

Mona Yacoubian for the U.S. Institute of Peace: "Enormous Earthquakes Exacerbate Syria's Humanitarian Crisis"


Book of the Week

By Gideon Rachman

"This is the most urgent political story of our time: authoritarian leaders have become a central feature of global politics. Since 2000, self-styled strongmen have risen to power in capitals as diverse as Moscow, Beijing, Delhi, Brasilia, Budapest, Ankara, Riyadh, and Washington. These leaders are nationalists and social conservatives, with little tolerance for minorities, dissent, or the interests of foreigners. At home, they claim to be standing up for ordinary people against globalist elites; abroad, they posture as the embodiments of their nations. And everywhere they go, they encourage a cult of personality. What’s more, these leaders are not just operating in authoritarian political systems but have begun to emerge in the heartlands of liberal democracy.

Gideon Rachman has been in the same room with most of these strongmen and reported from their countries over a long journalistic career. While others have tried to understand their rise individually, Rachman pays full attention to the widespread phenomenon and uncovers the complex and often surprising interaction among these leaders. In the process, he identifies the common themes in our local nightmares, finding global coherence in the chaos and offering a bold new paradigm for navigating our world."


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As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Aspen Institute is nonpartisan and does not endorse, support, or oppose political candidates or parties. Further, the views and opinions of our guests and speakers do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.



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